DRY NEEDLING & CHIROPRACTIC (By: Chiropractor Dannielle Medhurst – Cleveland Chiropractic)
To help improve well being of their patients, chiropractors recommend and / or administer other modalities, including dry needling.
Dry needling is based on theories similar but not exclusive to traditional acupuncture. It is distinguishable from acupuncture as it does not use the full range of traditional theories of Chinese Medicine.
It is used for the treatment of myofascial (muscular) trigger points. A trigger point is a hypersensitive region, knot / lump within a muscle that can sometimes be felt during periods of physical and emotional stress. Trigger points within the muscle are often a considerable source of pain and spasm.
When can it be used?
Dry needling can be used to treat conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, joint pain, osteoarthritis, post surgical and inflammatory conditions such as tendonitis that involve muscle tightness in any area of the body including: neck, back, leg and shoulder pain. It is often an option when physical techniques are not preferred or maybe too uncomfortable.
How does it work?
A disposable needle is inserted directly into a trigger point. It acts to ‘jump start’ the vascular and neuronal supply resulting in reduced muscle spasm and pain. When inserted a twitch known as a local twitch response (LTR) may be felt. This is an involuntary reflex in which the muscle fibres in the taut band of muscle contract. It indicates proper placement of the needle and improves treatment outcomes. Inserting the needle can be mildly uncomfortable but this is generally uncommon if well performed.
When do I feel better?
Some may feel achy and tired, similar to having done a workout for the remainder of the day after dry needling, whilst others feel better straight away or within a day or two. Occasionally, not much change is felt during the initial stages of treatment. Following treatment it is advisable to drink plenty of water and rest if tired. For ongoing / chronic conditions, regular dry needling may be an effective management tool. A course of 3 to 6 treatments can make considerable changes in muscle tension.
Please ask your chiropractor if you would like to know more about dry needling.